The benefits of running in the heat yield physiological changes that will give you a competitive and more comfortable edge over those who haven’t trained in it.

At first it may be miserable, but with acclimatization, you’ll be able to run stronger and more comfortably in the heat.

Benefits of Running in the Heat

Benefits of Running in the Heat

Better sweating and a more efficient cardiovascular system keeps your core temperature lower – allowing you to push in your training with less discomfort and less chance of heat illness.

Check out more of these benefits in the infographic:

Here's how your body changes with 1-2 weeks of running in a hot climate. Sweat better: You'll start sweating earlier and more to improve your cooling. Your sweat will be less salty, keeping your fluid-electrolyte balance in check. Your sweat glands will become more fatigue-resistant allowing for greater and longer sweat sessions. Easier cardiac function: lower skin temperatures redistributes blood to central circulation, reducing cardiovascular strain, lowering heart rate and sustaining blood pressure and cardiac output. Lower core temperature: total body water and blood volume increases. Your body can better match thirst to needs. With lower core temp, comfort and performance improves, allowing you to complete workouts that were previously difficult or impossible in the heat.

Remember running slower paces in the heat and humidity has the same training effect as running faster paces in the coolness of winter. Your body doesn’t know it’s running 60-90+ seconds off pace. Only your pride does.

Acclimate, train hard, stay safe, and knock out your fall goals when the time comes.

How to Acclimate Yourself

If you have a specific race in mind, start acclimatization at least 3 weeks before.

Spend at least 90+ minutes outside profusely sweating for 1-2 weeks to seriously and intensely acclimate yourself.

Lower intensity exercise for longer duration has similar benefits to moderate intensity at shorter duration.

And remember to take into account humidity. Are you trying to acclimate to dry heat or high humidity?

I live in Savannah GA where the heat is intense and the humidity is worse. I try to spend May and June training during all parts of the day – high humidity morning, midday sun, and hard heat evenings. Then, I’m more ready for anything that July and August might bring.

Further Reading